Global Health (World Health Report)

Posted May 13, 2021 by fredperry

According to the World Health Report, more than 400 million people suffer from mental illnesses nowadays...

Global Health

According to the World Health Report, more than 400 million people suffer from mental illnesses nowadays. In the developed countries, each seventh individual suffers from paranoia, schizophrenia, or has depression tendencies or alcohol addiction. The number of mentally ill people all around the world increases seemingly every year. According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, about 23% of all years lost because of disability is caused by mental and substance use disorders. These tendencies make the problem of mental health the one having the greatest impact on the world today. Modern healthcare system deals with numerous challenges when providing adequate help because the there are many factors that contribute to the problem.
The Scope of the Problem
According to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease study, the predominant mental health problems worldwide are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Depression is the most common mental disorder in the world today. It is the leading cause of the loss of working capacity. More than 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. Women are more prone to depression than men are. Besides, many people who have depression also suffer from anxiety symptoms that make their life challenging.
Next, more than 60 million people of the world population suffer from bipolar disorder. This disorder is characterized by manic and depressive episodes separated by periods of normal mood. Naturally, these mood changes inhibit the ability of the individual to have a sustaining quality of life. Then, schizophrenia is the third most common mental disorder in the world. More than 21 million people are schizophrenics according to the official statistics. The victims of this disorder have difficulties with work and studying.
One should notice that present epidemiologic statistics on prevalence of mental disorders usually comes from three sources. These are hospital statistics, mental health services, and census studies. Unfortunately, none of these statistical data sources reflects the precise numbers of the occurrence of the mental disorders. On the one hand, the data gathered from the so-called hospital statistics, received from those admitted to public psychiatric hospitals, is similar across many countries. On the other hand, it is relevant to only 1.2-7.2 per cent of all patients. In many countries, mental status examination is an unusual practice. As a result, many people who need psychological aid have poor primary care access. Accordingly, active and passive diagnostics of the mentally ill people affect the statistics to the great degree.
Though mental health affects many people all over the world, there is often lack of an adequate provision for individuals affected by mental conditions. Despite the severity of the problem, not all people suffering from mental disorders get an adequate help. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental health atlas for 2014, there is only one health worker per 100,000 people in some lower income countries. Comparing to that, there are more than 50 health workers per 100,000 people in the higher income countries. To add even more, mental health spending is different depending on the country. Tajikistan and Ghana are the countries with mental health spending lower than $2 per capita. Thus, the global areas most affected by mental health issues are the countries with the lower income and underdeveloped countries.
Factors Contributing to the Problem
Experts have different opinions on the influence of social factors on the diagnostics and structure of mental disorders across different social strata. Few authors claim that the prevalence of mental disorders does not depend on industrialization levels or social order. Comparing to that, the majority of scholars agree on the relation between social peculiarities and the prevalence of mental disorders and even mental disorder symptoms. For instance, the prevalence of mental disorders among urban population is two to three times higher than that of the rural population.
Meanwhile, the link between economical condition of the society and the prevalence of the mental disorders remains unclear. Some authors believe that high rates of mental disorders among lower classes are connected to unfavorable life conditions and state that under better conditions the frequency of mental conditions will not surpass the one of other social groups. The widening gap between the rich and the poor increases the levels of stress in the society. It contributes to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other conditions. Apart from that, people are more stressed than usual because of the increasing number of terrorist attacks. For instance, it contributes to the raise of claustrophobia cases. Thus, incidents of human deaths, low economic situation, and terrorist attacks lead to worsening of the mental disorders.
Apart from these reasons, more global factors contribute to the increase of the mental disorders. First, more and more scientific discoveries are made nowadays. Modern technologies develop extremely fast and are presented to public immediately, which is not so easy to proceed. This information overload becomes a true challenge for human mind. Dynamic speed of life, responsibility, and the necessity to process lots of information are the direct cause of mental disorders. Second, the numbers of mental patients increase because of the intensive pace of life. Modern world encourages efforts that are harmful for human health such as long working hours and multitasking. It often leads to depressive disorders, many of which are the result of workaholism and work burnout.
Meanwhile, factors that impact health care delivery include lack of state funding and stigmatization. These are lower-income countries, which do not receive enough money for health care practitioners. Poor financing contributes to lack of professionals and lack of proper medications. Under such conditions, it is difficult to expect low rates of mental disorders. Besides, people are often afraid of stigma and reject mental help. To combat such attitudes, consistent educational work is needed.

Influence of Altruistic Organizations

Such organization as Peace Corps addresses mental health issues. Volunteers of Peace Corps promote peace and friendship providing better understanding of Americans and introduce other nations to Americans. Project HOPE as an international health care organization does a lot for mental health promotion. This organization implements health education programs locally and on the Internet. In particular, their website offers short videos, handbook, forms, and resources for people with mental disorders. These tools are intended for health service providers to benefit the clients they support.
American organization NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) recognizes the role of faith in dealing with mental disorders. This organization promotes meditation, congregational prayer, and a community service as the primary tools for mental recovery. In Europe, mental self-help organizations, such as EUFAMI or GAMIAN, rise to the prominence more and more today. There are many other local organizations trying to improve mental health all over the world, but they do not work on a global scale.

Healthcare Interventions for Mental Health Issues

Healthcare systems do not address the burden of mental disorders adequately enough. As a result, there is a widening gap between the mental needs and the therapy provided. In the countries with low and middle-income levels, 76 to 85 percent of the mental patients do not receive any kind of mental help. In the countries with the high-income levels, 35 to 50 percent of the mental patients do not get any mental help. The problem is worsened by the fact that the suggested assistance often lacks quality. Nursing might influence the outcome of mental health issue by improvements in routine examinations and quality healthcare provision. Beside healthcare institutions, mental patients also need social support of their surroundings. Such individuals need to get access to educational programs tailored to their needs, as well as they deserve adequate accommodation, employment, and active social life. These are the pinpoints of the quality healthcare interventions.
Luckily, some interventions are to be implemented on the global scale. Mental Health Action plan prepared by the World Health Organization for 2013-2020, approved by the World Healthcare Assembly in 2013, places high value on mental health as an important component of the best health for everyone. This plan incorporates four main aims: improvement of efficiency of management in mental health field; provision of exhaustive complex services in treatment and social protection for patients with mental disorders; implementation of better treatment and strategies; and strengthening of information systems, data gathering and scholar research.
Since the prevention of the spreading of the mental disorders is nearly impossible, the alternative is to deal with the symptoms. Each health institution, both in the US and in the world, should have psychotherapist, who can diagnose the disorder at the early stage. Preventative diagnostics can become a key in discovering mental illnesses and raising awareness of the mental health issues among the population. Apart from that, people should not be afraid of stigmatization. In addition, mental health institutions should provide people with sufficient number of mental health professionals. It would prevent lack of therapeutic help and huge numbers of mental disorders that remain untreated every year.

Healthcare Practices and Decisions at the Local Level

One of the key best practice for mental illness in both the U.S. and the globe for individuals with mental illness is the clinical licensure of practitioners providing healthcare services for patients. The need for licensure is anchored on the fact that the practitioners would be in a better position to exercise professionalism while handling patients of mental illness. The second best practice for mental illness in the U.S. and at the global level is the pre-participation in the screening of mental health. This essentially means that individuals should consistently take the initiative to check on their health through screening tests. This ensures that there is early diagnosis and treatment.
The last vital practice is the development of health-promoting environments. These are environments that ensure that the wellbeing of individuals is promoted. Better environments are crucial in leading to the mental wellbeing and stability (Blattman & Dercon, 2016). A poor practice in approaching mental illness is in respect to the lack of attention to the beliefs of the patients. It is critical to note that in some instances, health practitioners pay less regard to the religious and cultural beliefs of individuals hence disadvantaging their healing outcomes.

Evidence-Based Interventions

One of the most significant evidence-based interventions that could be applied in the treatment of individuals with mental problems is the psychosocial interventions. These are interventions committed to the prevention and treatment of mental challenges through approaches such as guidance and counseling. This could entail the support for the population, relapse prevention, and outreach services that help in discouraging habits such as drug use.
The second notable evidence-based intervention that could be applied to the population with mental illnesses is the cognitive behavior therapy. Cognitive-based therapy as an evidence-based intervention is vital in the treatment of symptoms and dealing with the improvement of the patient wellness. It takes into consideration the cognitive biasness of individuals, hence facilitating the treatment of a person in an effective way.
Family psycho-education is also an evidence-based intervention. It is important in ensuring that individuals living with mental disorders are handled in the best ways possible with the view of reducing the re-hospitalization. A closer understanding of the patient is critical in ensuring that they are not stigmatized hence boosting the treatment process. The closer working between the family and the patient also helps eliminate any form of fears on the part of the patient leading to positive outcomes.
Supported employment also serves as a reliable intervention for individuals with severe mental illnesses. This intervention entails the training of mentally ill individuals in respect to the key skills that might help them as they get into different professions. This boosts the mind and is a reliable evidence-based intervention that considers the utilization and application of the skills of these individuals in an effective manner.


To conclude, the burden of psychological disorders continues to grow and have a profound impact on healthcare systems all over the world. Furthermore, it has devastating outcomes for social field, human rights, and economy. Adequate interventions can improve situation to a great degree. Providing access to quality mental healthcare and preventative diagnostics should become the keys in dealing with mental disorders.

The article on "Global Health" was composed by qualified writer Fred Perry, who specialised on creating articles about health, condition of hospitals worldwide, legal medicine and others, if you want to read more similar articles and articles on different other topics just follow
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Last Updated May 13, 2021